Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

LXV
Ukkhepakata-Vaccha

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

[66]

He was born in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, as the son of a brahmin of the Vaccha family. He heard the Master preach, entered the Order, and went to dwell at a village settlement in Kosala. Through the bhikkhus who came there from time to time he mastered the doctrine, although he did not know how to distinguish what was Vinaya, what Suttanta, and what Abhidhamma. This too, however, he learnt from questioning Sāriputta, so that, whereas other bhikkhus were versed in Vinaya, or in some other part of doctrine, he had learnt the Piṭakas by heart, even before the Council, when they were recited.[1] And soon after attaining this proficiency, he won arahantship. Thereafter he became a teacher, and one day, addressing himself as another person, he uttered this verse:

[65] That heaped wealth by Vaccha's toil thrown up[2]
By steady increment these many years,
That doth he to the laity declare,
Seated in honour, filled with splendid joy.

 


[1] See Vinaya Texts, iii. 373 ff. It is a fixed tenet with Dhammapāla (pace other commentators) that the doctrines and discipline of his faith had existed in the infinite past in the form of three Piṭakas, revived under each Buddha. Councils had but to decide on the subject-matter to be included in that form, and to 'recite' the wording of the same. Cf. Mahāvaɱsa, Geiger's translation; P.T.S, 1912, chapters iii.-v.

[2] The soubriquet by which he is called means Throwing-up made-Vaccha, Vaccha the Pile-maker, to emphasize his eminent repertory of orally-learnt doctrine. The Vaccha family contributed many Theras; hence, no doubt, the need of distinguishing. Cf. IX., XIII., LXXI., CXII., CXIII.

 


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