Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

XXXVIII
Gavampati

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

He was reborn in this Buddha-age as one of the four lay-companions of the Thera Yasa, who, when they heard of Yasa's renunciation, imitated him, and also won arahantship.[1] Thereafter he dwelt in the Añjana Grove at [43] Sāketa, experiencing the bliss of emancipation. Now at that time the Exalted One came also with a great company of bhikkhus to the Añjana Grove, and the accommodation was insufficient, many of the bhikkhus sleeping around the vihara on the sandbanks of the River Sarabhū.[2] Then in the middle of the night the stream rose in flood, and a great cry arose from the younger brethren. The Exalted One hearing it, sent for the venerable Gavampati, and said: 'Go, Gavampati, arrest the rising stream, and put the bhikkhus at ease.' And the Thera by his mystic power did so, and stopped the stream afar so that it stood up like a mountain-peak. Thenceforth the might of the Thera became known. One day as the Master sat teaching in the midst of a great assembly he saw Gavampati, and in compassion for the world praised his virtues in this verse:

[38] Who by his might[3] reared up the Sarabhū,
Who standeth self-reliant and unmoved,
Who hath transcended every tie, Gavampati,
Him mighty seer the very gods acclaim,
Surpasser of the coming back to be.[4]

 


[1] See Vinaya Texts, i. 110, and below, CXXXII. On Gavampati. see also Dialogues, ii. 373; Saŋy., v. 436 ; Kathāvatthu, p. 220.

[2] The present city of Ayodhyā stands on a corner of the site of what was once the great city, 24 miles in circumference, of Sāketa, about 100 miles north-north-east of Benares. The Sarabhū or Sarayū flows through it into the Gharghara, a tributary of the Ganges. Cf. XXVIII.

[3] The Commentary reads vadanti (they say), instead of iddhiyā.

[4] Bhavassa pāraguŋ. The former half of the gāthā is of the Triṣṭubh, the latter of the Jagati metre.

 


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