Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

XV
Kuṇḍa-Dhāna
[1]

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

In the age of our Exalted One, he was reborn at Sāvatthī as a brahmin's child, and called Dhāna.[2] Knowing the [20] three Vedas by heart, he when advanced in years heard the Master preach, and left the world. Now King Pasenadi of Kosala becama interested in him and provided him with necessaries, so that he had not to go round for alms. But it was when the great Subhaddā invited the Master and his company to dine with her, that Kuṇḍa-Dhāna revealed his powers and attainments, as it is written in the Commentary on the Anguttara-Nikāya.[3] And it was to the brethren that he recited this verse:

[15] Five cut thou off; Five leave behind, and Five beyond all cultivate!
He who the Fivefold Bond[4] transcends - a Brother
Flood-crossed is he called.

 


[1] In the Comy. Koṇḍa- Koṇṭha- Kuḍḍa- Kuṇḍa-dhāna. He is mentioned in Majjh. i. 462; Uddāna, ii. 8; Dhammapada Comy., iii. 52-58.

[2] The Comy. deals at some length with the legend of this Brother's antecedents, the immediate object of which ia to explain how Dhāna won the nickname of Kuṇḍa or Koṇḍa, a word which by the context would eeem to mean 'gallant.' In a previous birth he appears as the victim of a fairy's practical joke, and the blame he attaches to an innocent fellow-monk in consequence is a karma, which pursues him in this life, causing him mortification. As the legend throws no light on the verse, it is not given here, nor is the account of his prior rank in receiving food-tickets (see Ang., i. 24), and for the same reason. The verse might, in fact, have been spoken by any learned Thera (cf. CCXLII., verse 633). Subhaddā is presumably the daughter of Anāthapiṇḍika, living at Sāketa (Milinda, ii. 308). The way to her (from Sāvatthī) is described as being far: in Majjh., i. 149, as seven express coaching stages.

[3] I.e., on the Etad-agga-Vagga (Ang., i. 28 f.), wherein the Thera's success is recorded. It is noticeable that, in citing this Commentary, Dhammapāla does not quote it as Buddhaghosa's Manorathapūraṇī.

[4] According to the Commentary, the first of these four pentads is the group of the five lower Fetters (Bud. Psy., ĪĪ 1113-1134; Rhys Davids, American Lectures, p. 141 ff.). The second pentad is the remaining five Fetters, the liberation from the ten involving deliverance from rebirth. The third refers to the five moral powers or faculties (Bud. Psy., ĪĪ 305-311), and the fourth to the bonds of passion, hate, stupidity, pride, and opinion (Vibhanga, p. 877). The verse occurs in Dhammapada, v. 370, and Saɱyutta Nik., i. 8, and below, 633, where this comment is repeated. The verse is a good example of the kind of holy riddle in which these Elders (like others nearer home) took special delight. (Cf. LXIV.)

 


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