Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto I. Psalms of Single Verses


 

Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

CXIX
Vajji-putta (2)

(The Vajjian)

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age as the son of a Licchavi rāja at Vesālī, he became known as the Vajjian's son, because his father was one of the Vajjians.[1] While yet a youth and engaged in training elephants, he, inclined by fulness of cause to seek Release, went to the Vihāra at the hour when the Master was to preach, and having heard, entered the Order, and in due course acquired sixfold abhiññā.

At a later time, shortly after the Master had passed away, Vajjiputta formed an agreement with the chief Theras to preserve the Dhamma intact, and travelled with them from place to place. One day he saw the Venerable Ānanda, who was still a student only, surrounded by a large congregation, teaching them the Norm. And to call forth endeavour in him to reach the higher Paths, he uttered this verse:

[119] Come thou and plunge in leafy lair of trees,
Suffer Nibbana in thy heart to sink!
Study and dally not, thou Gotamid!
What doth this fingle-fangle mean to thee?[2]

Hearing this and speech of others, dispelling poisonous odours, Ānanda grew agitated, and most of the night walked to and fro meditating. Then, with insight worked up, he entered his dwelling, and in the act of lying down on his couch, he won arahantship.

 


[1] This is apparently not the Vajji-putta of LXII., who was not of noble rank.

[2] For this late attainment of the goal by Ānanda, the Buddha's chief attendant, see Vinaya Texts, iii. 373. The verse occurs also in Saŋy, i. 199, where woodland sprites note Ānanda's preoccupation with worldly interests - a tendency that was entirely amiable in itself, and which is noticeable in the many episodes related of him. To these other admonishers the Chronicle refers. Ānanda was of the Gotama clan, cousin to the Buddha. The quaint term biḷibiḷikā is thus paraphrased vilivilikriyā (lit., sticky-sticky-action ?), the reiteration being intended as a deprecation of his preoccupation with the interests of the many to his own spiritual hindrance. For Ānanda's psalm, see CCLX.; cf. also CLXXV.

 


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