Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto II. Psalms of Two Verses


 

Canto II.
Psalms of Two Verses

CXXII.
Piṇḍola-Bhāradvāja

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age as the son of the chaplain to king Udena of Kosambī, he was named Bhāradvāja.[1] [111] Having learnt the three Vedas, and teaching the hymns with great success to a school of brahmin youths, the work became distasteful. And leaving them, he went to Rājagaha Seeing there the gifts and favours bestowed on the Order of the Exalted One, he entered the same. He overcame intemperance in diet by the Teacher's methods, and acquired sixfold abhiññā.

He thereupon announced before the Exalted One that he would answer the questions of any Brethren in doubt concerning path or fruit, thus uttering his 'lion's roar.'[2] Wherefore the Exalted One said of him: 'The chief among my disciples who are lion-roarers is Piṇḍola-Bhāradvāja.' Now there came to him a former friend, a brahmin of a miserly nature. And the Thera persuaded him to make an offering, handing it over to the Order. And because the brahmin believed the Thera was greedy and self-seeking, the latter set himself to instruct him in the privileges of religious gifts, saying:

[123] Not without rule and method must we live.
But food as such is never near my heart.
'By nutriment the body is sustained':[3]
This do I know, and hence my quest for alms.

[124] 'A [treacherous] bog' it is: - the wise know well:
These bows and gifts and treats from wealthy folk.
'Tis like steel splinter bedded in the flesh,
For foolish brethren hard to extricate.[4]

 


[1] Bhāradvāja seems to have been the name of a brahmin clan, though here given as a personal name (S. Vibh., p. 6; Saŋy., i. 160). Hence either Piṇḍola is the personal name, or it is a soubriquet, analogous to our 'chunks,' associated with his earlier greedy habits. His perfected self-mastery is the theme in Udāna iv. 6. He is persecuted for preaching by King Udena (Jāt., iv. 375), but is subsequently consulted by the latter, who reforms his ways (Saŋy., iv. 110). He is rebuked for cheaply performing a miracle (Vinaya Texts, iii. 78). Two untraced stanzas of his are quoted (Milinda, ii. 335, 345).

[2] The usual idiom for an affirmation of competence or readiness to act (Ang. Nik., i. 23).

[3] Included in the orthodox dictum: 'All beings are sustained by nutriment' (Dīgha Nik., iii. 211; Khuddaka Pāṭha).

[4] See verses 495, 1053. Cf. Jātaka, iv. 222 (text).

 


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