Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

XVI
Belaṭṭhasīsa

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

In this Buddha-age he was reborn at Sāvatthī in a brahmin's family, and before the Exalted One became a Buddha he left the world to join the ascetic Order of Kassapa of Uruvelā, and tend the sacred fire. And when Kassapa was tamed by the Buddha,[1] he was one of the thousand ascetics who obtained arahantship on hearing the sermon on Burning.[2]

He thereafter became the tutor of the 'Treasurer of the Norm.'[3] And one day, reflecting on the pure bliss of fruition and his own earlier discipline, in rapture he uttered a psalm:

[16] E'en as the high-bred steer[4] with crested buck[5]
Lightly the plough adown the furrow turns,
So lightly glide for me the nights and days
Now that this pure untainted bliss is won.

 


[1] See Vinaya Texts, i. 118-134.

[2] Ibid., p. 134 f.

[3] A soubriquet of the Elder Ānanda. Belaṭṭhasīsa is also mentioned as a sufferer from eczema (Vin. Texts, ii. 48, 226), and as committing a minor offence in storing food (Vin., iv. 86). The Commentarial tradition is that Dhammapada verse 92 refers to the last-named incident (Dhp. Com., ii. 170).

[4] The text bhaddo ājañño, 'noble, or spirited thoroughbred,' is declared by the Commentary to imply, out of the three creatures to which this epithet is applied - bull, horse, elephant - the first named, as the only one used for ploughing.

[5] Sikhī, 'crested,' is applicable to either the horns or the hump of the zebu (Commentary).

 


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