Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

CXV
Mahanāma

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

[idx][pali]

Public Domain

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī in a brahmin family, and named Mahanāma,[1] he heard the Exalted One teaching the Norm, and gaining faith, entered the Order. Taking an exercise, he dwelt on the hill called Nesādaka. Unable to prevent the rising up of evil thoughts and desires, he exclaimed: 'Of what worth is life to me with this corrupted mind?' And disgusted with himself he climbed a steep crag of the mountain, and made as if he would throw himself down, saying, 'I will kill him,' speaking to himself as to another and uttering this verse:

[115] Lo thou! how to a wretched end art come
By this steep crag, this famous Hunter's Hill,
Its many crests begirt by sāl-tree woods,
[And all its glens with tangled verdure] clothed!

In the act of upbraiding himself thus, the Thera evoked insight and won arahantship. And this verse became his confession of aññā.

 


[1] Another instance where the Chronicle makes clear lines otherwise inexplicable. There is no hint given that this Thera (whose name means 'Great-Name') is identical with Mahā-Nāma the Sākiyan, one of the Buddha's first (lay) converts, or with the Licchavi of Ang., iii. 76. The hill in question has not been met with in other books as yet, but, judging from the Commentary, it seems to have been a most charming resort, well supplied with shade, water, and medicinal herbs. With his desperate mood, cf. Vakkali (CCV.), Sappadāsa (CCXV.), and Sīhā (Sitters, Ps. xi.).

 


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