Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

CV
Malitavambha

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age in the town of Kurukaccha as a brahmin's son, he was converted by the preaching of Pacchabhu, the great Thera,[1] and entered the Order. Working at exercises for insight, he abode in any place where, of the four necessaries of life,[2] only suitable food was hard to get; but where such food was easily got and [97] the rest difficult to find, he went away. So continuing, because he had the antecedents, and was of the nature of the Great Men,[3] he expanded insight, and in due course became an arahant. Thereupon, reflecting on his attainment, he broke forth in this verse:

[105] Where I am straitened let me never dwell,[4]
Let me go thence, if life too pleasant prove.
Ne'er will the man with eyes to see abide
Where aught may hinder in the quest supreme.

 


[1] A name not met with elsewhere. The episode may be of later date. The name itself - lit., Epigonus - is possibly significant.

[2] The four necessaries (paccayā) for a bhikkhu were food, raiment, lodging, and medicine. Not too little ease nor too much comfort for the holy life is the maxim. The subject, as Dr. Neumann reminds us, is expanded in Majjh., 18th Sutta.

[3] Mahāpurisajātikatāya. This is the only instance where this expression occurs. I do not see the special bearing of it in Malitavambha's case. A 'Great Man' was either a Buddha or a great emperor.

[4] The tense throughout is the optative. 'Quest,' or 'welfare' (attha).

 


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