Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

CXVII
Yasa

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

Reborn in this time of our Exalted One as the son of a very wealthy councillor at Benares, he was exceedingly delicately nurtured, and had three mansions for the different seasons, all of which is told in the Khandaka.[1] Impelled by antecedent conditions, he saw one night the indecorum in his sleeping attendants and, greatly distressed, put on his gold slippers and left both house and town, gods opening the doors for him. So he went towards Isipatana, exclaiming: 'Alas! what distress! Alas! what danger!' Now at that hour the Exalted One, who was staying at Isipatana in order to do him kindness, was walking to and fro out of doors, and said: 'Come, Yasa, here is there neither distress nor danger.' Yasa filled with joy put off his slippers, and sat down beside the Exalted One. The Master talked to him by a graduated discourse, and when he had finished teaching the Truths, Yasa became a convert. And while the Exalted One taught the Truths to his father who had come to seek him, Yasa realized arahantship.

Then the Exalted One held out his right arm to Yasa, saying, 'Come, bhikkhu !' And at his merely saying the words, Yasa's hair was shorn two fingers' length, and he [105] was equipped with the eight necessaries.[2] Reflecting on his career, he rejoiced over those words calling him to his present state, 'Come, bhikkhu!'[3] and uttered this psalm:

[117] With perfumed skin and delicately clad
And head ablaze with gems, natheless my way
I found and made the Threefold Lore my own;[4]
And now the Buddha-ordinance is done.

 


[1] Vinaya Texts, i. 102 ff.

[2] This is a mythical elaboration of the older tale in the Vinaya. In the Order the learner or pupil had to remove his shoes when waiting on his teacher (ibid., i. 66 (62), 154).

[3] Cf. Bhadda's joy at these words, a special honour to a candidate (Sisters, Ps. xlvi., also CCXXVI. below and others).

[4] The point lies in his swift attainment, as a layman.

 


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