PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN
Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses
Psalms of Single Verses
Translated from the Pali by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.
He was reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, as the son of a very wealthy councillor, and the younger brother of the Thera Sangāmaji. When he was grown up he married; but when a son was born to him, he, being impelled by the order of things belonging to the last span of life, grew anxious concerning birth and the like. So he left the world and dwelt alone in the forest, exercising himself in the Four Truths. And soon after he won arahantship.
Then he went to Sāvatthī to worship the Exalted One, and came to his home. There his former wife entertained him and, unaware of his disposition, was desirous of drawing him back by her attractions. The Thera thinking 'Alas! the fool of desire has designs even on such as me,' said no word, but rose up and went away into the forest. And the bhikkhus there said to him: 'Why, friend, you are come back too quickly; have you not seen your people?' The Thera told them what had taken place, and recited a verse:
 Best when not near, both now and evermore,
Are such as these for him who understands.
Forth from the township to the woods I went,
Thence to my home once more I came; but thence
Rising I gat me forth again, nor e'er
Did this same Posiya let fall a word.
 On the term seṭṭhi, see Sisters, p. 192, n. 1. I have in this work decided to use 'councillor' as expressing, for us, a burgess of some official importance, head (seṭṭhi) - e.g., of a guild, etc.
 See Udāna, i. 8; Netti, p. 150.