Khuddaka Nikaya

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Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


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


Public Domain


When Kassapa was Buddha, this brother left the world and followed him. Now after the Master had preached the Sutta on Happy-Lonely, a certain bhikkhu talked with Lomasakangiya about it. And our Thera, being unable to explain it, uttered the wish: 'May I in the future become able to teach thee the Happy-Lonely!' The other answered: 'May I ask thee!' Of these two the former, when our Buddha lived, was reborn at Kapilavatthu, in the house of a Sakiyan rāja. And he was very delicate, and covered with fine hair, and therefore he was called Lomasakangiya.[1] The other was reborn at that time among the gods, and named Candana.[2]

Now when Anuruddha and the other Sākiyan youths left the world, Lomasakangiya would not. Then Candana, to stir him up, came to him and asked concerning the Happy-Lonely. The other knew not what he meant. Then Candana reminded him. So Lomasakangiya went to the Exalted One and asked him if it was true that he had made that resolve in the past. 'Ay, youth,' replied the Exalted One; 'and the meaning of it is to be understood in more than fifty points of detail.' Then Lomasakangiya said: 'Wherefore, lord, let me be ordained.' And the Exalted One sent him to get his parents' permission. He asked his mother, but she feared for his health, saying: 'My dear, thou art delicate. How canst thou leave the world?' Then Lomasakangiya uttered this verse:

[32] [27] Dabba and Kusa grass and pricking stems
And all that hurts in brush and underwood
Forth from my breast I'll push and thrust away,
And go where I the growth may cultivate
Of heart's detachment, lone and separate.[3]

Thereupon his mother said, 'Well then, my dear, go forth.' And he gained the Master's consent to be ordained. After doing the preliminary exercises he went to enter the forest. And the bhikkhus said to him: 'Friend, you are delicate. What can you do here? 'Tis cold in the forest.' But he repeated his verse, and entering the forest, devoted himself to meditation, and soon acquired the six forms of supernormal thought.[4] When he won arahantship he confessed aññā in the same verse.


[1] I.e., downy limbs. Pronounced Lo'māsa Kang'iya.

[2] Pronounced Chand'ānā.

[3] Cf. XXIII., and see Ps. CLXXIV. The Commentary gives us the previous half of the legend, the latter half of which is told in the Lomasa-kangiya-Sutta of Majjh. (iii. 199). Here Candana is represented as teaching the Sutta in question to the Thera. No less than four Suttas of this Nikaya deal with the little poem called 'Bhaddekaratta,' or 'the happy-lonely one,' giving expositions by the Buddha, by Ānanda, by Kaccana the Great, and by Candana in succession.


'The powers named Iddhi, the Celestial Ear,
Discerning others' thoughts; reminiscence
Of former births, and fifth, the Heavenly Eye.'

Compendium of Philosophy, p. 209.

The sixth, extirpation of the Āsavas, is tantamount to arahantship. The six are comprised in the term 'Abhiññā,' and are left untranslated as 'Abhiññā' in the following psalms.


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