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.
Reborn in this Buddha-age at the town of Veḷukaṇḍa, of a wealthy famify, and named Sudanta - some say Vasuloki - he became the dear friend of Kumā's son. When the latter left the world, he thought: 'That can be no mean religion which Kumā's son has entered.' So he went and heard the Master preach. Thereupon he was filled with a much more fervent desire and entered the Order, dwelling with Kumā's son on the frontier hills devoted to religious exercises.
Now at that time many bhikkhus touring in various districts, going and coming, halted at that station, so that there was much noise. And Sudanta, disturbed in his concentration of mind, made his trouble the goad for the taming of his thoughts, and uttered this verse:
 To divers regions back and forth they fare
Heedless of heart upon their rounds, and balk
The mind's due concentration. What, forsooth,
Shall all this vagabondage bring to pass?
Hence is it meet that clamour be subdued,
Nor harass him who fain would meditate.
 Raṭṭhañcariya, lit., kingdom-touring; not a bad predecessor of our 'globe-trotting.' It was part of a bhikkhu's duties, though liable to be abused or - at least, as here - mismanaged. Raṭṭhaŋ is metrically redundant, but the disturbance in rhythm may be intentional.