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


Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī in a wealthy family, his heart was moved when the Jeta Grove was presented,[1] and he left the world. Dwelling in the forest he meditated on ethical conduct, and, because of his attainments and charm, he became called Rāmaṇeyyaka (Gratus, Gratulus).

Now one day Māra the Evil One, wishing to disturb him, made a fearful noise. The Thera, hearing it, was with his habitual courage unafraid, and knew it was Māra. And to show his contempt he uttered this verse:

[49] Not all the clitter-clatter of your noise,
No more than chirp and squeal of forest sounds,[2]
Avail to make pulse throb or mind distraught,
For one the aim to which my heart is given.

This verse became the Thera's confession of aññā.


[1] Cf. p. 4; Sisten, p. 60.

[2] The limited range, as yet, of Pali lexicography makes it difficult to follow the Commentary's elucidation of sippika. But that the Thera contemptuously likens Māra's 'fearful noise' to minor forest sounds, such as those emitted by monkeys and squirrels, is obvious. The gāthā, barely stated, ia thus: As to the x y noise and the z sounds, that does not make 'throb my heart, for devotion to unity is mine.'


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