Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto II. Psalms of Two Verses


 

Canto II.
Psalms of Two Verses

CXXXIX
Nanda

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age at Kapilavatthu, as the son of Rāja Suddhodana and of Great Pajāpatī,[1] and a joy to his kin, on his naming day he was named Nanda. When Nanda was of age, the Master, rolling the Wheel of the Norm, came out of compassion to Kapilavatthu. Making a shower of rain the occasion, he told the Vessantara Jataka.[2] On the second day, by the verse 'Rise up,' he established his father as a Stream-winner; Pajāpatī also by the verse, 'Follow after a holy life,' and the rāja further, as a Once-returner. On the third day, when seeking alms at the coronation-hall where congratulations were being offered to Prince Nanda on his wedding, the Master handed the prince his bowl and wished him luck. And he, taking the bowl, followed the Master to the Vihara, who there ordained him, though Nanda wished it not.

[127] From that time, knowing that Nanda was oppressed by his distaste, the Master trained it away, so that Nanda, by thoroughgoing meditation, established insight and attained arahantship. Thereafter, enjoying the bliss of liberty, be said: '0 excellent method of the Master, whereby I was drawn out of the bog of rebirth and set on Nibbana's strand!' And joying in his reflections he uttered these verses:

[157] Heedless and shallow once my thoughts were set
On all the bravery of outward show;
Fickle was I and frivolous; all my days
Were worn with wanton sensuality.

[158] But by the Buddha's skilful art benign,
Who of sun's lineage cometh, was I brought
To live by deeper thought, whereby my heart
From (the great swamp of endless) life[3] I drew.

And the Exalted One, discerning how eminently he was trained in self-control, declared him before the Order to be chief therein among his disciples,[4] even therein conferring that distinction to which the Thera, in past ages, had once aspired.

 


[1] See Ps. I., p. 6 f. Nanda is called Nandiya above (Ps. XXV). This single verse may have been incorporated from some such collection of Māra anecdotes as those in the Bhikkhunī- Saŋyutta (see Windisch, Māra und Buddha, p. 134), and the form for his name used there left unaltered. The difference is only that between, e.g., Joy, Joyous.

[2] Jāt., vi., No. 547; Buddhist Birth Stories, p. 124.

[3] Bhava, becoming. Saŋsārapanke nimuggaŋ. Cy.

[4] He is so distinguished in Ang. Nik., i. 25.

 


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