Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

LXII
Vajji-putta[1]

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

He was born in this Buddha-age at Vesālī, in the family of a councillor,[2] and was named Vajji-son. He saw the majesty of the Exalted One when the latter came to Vesālī, believed, entered the Order, and after his novitiate dwelt in a wood near Vesālī. Now a festival took place at Vesālī, and there was dancing, singing and reciting, all the people happily enjoying the festival. And the sound thereof distracted the bhikkhu, so that he quitted his solitude, gave up his exercise, and showed forth his disgust in this verse:

Each by himself we in the forest dwell,
Like logs rejected by the woodman's craft.
So flit the days one like another by,
Who more unlucky in their lot than we?

Now a woodland sprite heard him, and had compassion on the bhikkhu, and thus upbraided him, 'Even though you, bhikkhu, speak scornfully of forest life, the wise desiring solitude think much of it,' and to show him the advantage of it spoke this verse:

[62] Each by himself we in the forest dwell,
Like logs rejected by the woodman's craft.
And many a one doth envy me my lot,
E'en as the hell-bound him who fares to heaven.

Then the bhikkhu, stirred like a thoroughbred horse by the spur, went down into the avenue of insight, and striving soon won arahantship. Thereupon he thought, 'The fairy's verse has been my goad!' and he recited it himself.

 


[1] The son of the Vajjians, or simply, the Vajjian. See CXIX.

[2] The Vajjians were a republic.

 


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