Khuddaka Nikaya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


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

Public Domain



He was born in this Buddha-age at Savatthī, as the son of a brahmin, and leaving the world on the quest of the Ambrosial,[1] he became a Wanderer.[2] One day on his [35] travels he came where the Exalted One was preaching, and entered the Order. From the impurity of his moral principles he could not win the goal. And seeing other bhikkhus who had won confessing to aññā, he asked the Master for a lesson in brief. The Master answered, 'It follows that you, Uttiya, must purify the rudiments,'[3] and he taught him them in brief. Uttiya, accepting the lesson, called up insight, but in the process he fell ill. In his anxiety he put forth every effort, and attained arahantship. Inasmuch as he won to perfect attainment in the face of such a condition, he confessed aññā, with reference to his illness:

[30] Since sickness hath befallen me, O now
Let there arise in me true mindfulness.
Sickness hath now befallen me - 'tis time
For me no more to dally or delay.[4]


[1] Amata, the not-dead, a term applied to Nibbāna, or the Paths thereto; more generally, to the Summum Bonum.

[2] Paribbājaka - i.e., an unattached religieux. It is very possible that the Uttiya paribbajaka of Ang., v. 193, and the Uttiya bhikkhu of Saŋy., v. 166, who asks for a lesson in brief, are identical with this Uttiya.

[3] Tvaŋ ādim eva visodhehīti.

[4] The unique reiteration of the me, twice in the locative, twice in the dative, in the Paii (the word is identical in both languages), scarcely makes for elegant poetry; but, to be faithful, the translation was bound to reproduce it. It is very possible that there is here a suggestion of the harassed travail of the feverish and ailing, but unfaltering, indomitable brain. Under this aspect the verse becomes a very living document.


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