Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

LXVIII
Ekudāniya[1]

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

He was reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, as the son of a wealthy councillor. Come to years of discretion, he was convinced by the majesty of the Buddha, at the presentation of the Jeta Grove, and left the world. Fulfilling his novitiate, and dwelling in the forest, he came to the Master to learn. And at that time the Master, seeing [69] Sariputta rapt in contemplation near him, broke forth into this psalm:

He who doth dwell on highest plane of thought, etc.[2]

And the brother hearing him, even when once more far away, and for a long time in the forest, kept repeating the psalm ever and anon, so that it became customary to call him 'Ekudaniya,' 'One-Psalm-er.'

Now one day he got unity and concentration of mind, and so, insight expanding, he won arahantship. And dwelling in the bliss of emancipation, he was once invited by the Treasurer of the Norm[3] to be tested in exposition, with the words: 'Friend, expound the doctrine to me.' And from long dwelling in mind over that verse, he uttered it then again:

[68] He who doth dwell on highest plane of thought,
With zeal unfaltering, Sage, Arahant,
In wisdom's branches[4] trained: - such as he is,
No sorrows may beset him, who with mind
Calm and serene and clear abideth aye.

This became the confession of his aññā.

 


[1] So the Commentary; in the text Ekuddāniya.

[2] Narrated in Udāna, iv. 7. Dhammapada, verse 259, is; by the Commentator, ascribed to the Buddha, who was commending 'Ekuddāna's' fruitful use of his one stanza.

[3] A title given to Ānauda. See Ps. CCLX.

[4] The Commentary emphasizes the mutual equivalence of muni (sage) and araha. It also specifies the thirty-seven 'wings of wisdom' (see Compendium, p. 179), and the three sikkhās, or trainings - viz., in morals, in jhāna or mental control, and in insight or doctrine (Ang. i. 235). In the Sutta-Vibhanga of the Vinaya-Piṭaka this psalm is put into the mouth of Panthaka the Less, to whom in the pressnt work Ps. CCXXXVI. is ascribed. The Sisters at the Sāvatthī College are represented as expecting no effective lesson when it is Panthaka's turn to teach them, since he always repeated one and the same stanza - namely, that here attributed to Ekudaniya. The Thera hears of their remarks, and forthwith gives an exhibition both of his magical power and of his knowledge of much else of the 'Buddha-word.' Whereupon he reaps the Sisters' tribute of admiration.

 


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