Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto II. Psalms of Two Verses


 

Canto II.
Psalms of Two Verses

CLXVI
Cūḷaka

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

Public Domain

[idx][Pali][olen]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age at Rājagaha, as a brahmin's son, he was named Cūḷaka. When he saw the Master tame the elephant Dhanapala,[1] he believed, and left the world. Working at his training, he dwelt in the Indra-sal-tree Cave.[2] One day as he sat in the entrance of the cave, looking down over the Magadha 'field,' a great storm-cloud filled the sky with piled-up masses, and amid deep, lovely roars, the rain camo down. The flock of peacocks, hearing the thunder, joyously uttered their ké-ká cry,[3] and [154] danced around. The touch of the storm-breeze brought coolness and comfort to the Thera in his cavern-lodge, so that with a suitable temperature his mind became concentrated. He entered the avenue of his exercise, and, discerning that the favourable moment was come, he praised his practice, breaking out in these verses:

[211] Hark! how the peacocks make the welkin ring,
Fair-crested, fine their plumes and azure throat,
Graceful in shape and pleasant in their cry.
And see how this broad landscape watered well
Lies verdure-clad beneath the dappled sky!

[212] Healthy thy frame and fit and vigorous
To make good progress in the Buddha's rule.
Come then and grasp the rapt thought of the saint,[4]
And touch the crystal bright, the subtly deep,
The elusive mystery - even the Way
Where dying cometh not, ineffable.

And so the Thera, admonishing himself, attained under seasonable conditions to mental concentration, and evoking insight, won arahantship. Thereupon reviewing what he had wrought, with zest and joy he repeated those lines as the confession of aññā.

 


[1] See Milinda, i. 298 f., nn. on Vinaya Texts, iii. 247 f.

[2] See Dialogues, ii. 299.

[3] See XXII., n. 2.

[4] Sumanassa, paraphrased by sundaramanassa yogāvacarassa. 'Come.' 'grasp,' 'touch,' are expansions of the Pali phusāhi, the last of the three verbs. The long-drawn-out Jagatī metre of the two gāthās relies on reiteration of the adaptable prefix su (Greek eu) - good, fair, well - to convey intense gladsomeness.

 


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