Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

XVII

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

He, by his karma, was reborn in the age of our Exalted One at Sāvatthī, as the child of a slave of Anāthapiṇḍika, [22] and was by him appointed as gate-porter of the Vihara.[1] Hearing of his virtuous conduct and his wishes, his master made him a freed man, and said, how happy it was to leave the life of the world. He was ordained accordingly; but from that time he grew slothful and slack of effort, taking no steps to roll back the round of rebirth, and sleeping much after meals. At sermon-time he would get into a corner on the outskirts of the congregation, and sit snoring. Now the Exalted One, contemplating his antecedents, spoke the following verse to him in order to stir up agitation:

[17] Who waxes slothful and in diet gross,
Given to sleep and rolling as he lies,
Like a great hog with provender replete -
The dolt comes back again, again to birth.

Hearing this, Dasaka grew agitated and, developing insight, not long after realized arahantship. Thereafter he thought 'the verse of the Exalted One became as a goad to me,' and he repeated the verse. Thus, though uttered as a protest concerning food, it became the declaration of his aññā.

 


[1] Of the Jetavana. See Sisters for an illustration of the ruins of this famous institution, built by Anāthapiṇḍika. Dasaka = Decimus.

 


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