PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN
Canto IV. Psalms of Four Verses
Psalms of Four Verses
Translated from the Pali by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.
Reborn in this Buddha-age in a clansman's family, he was converted, after the Exalted One had passed away, by the Treasurer of the Norm. And entering the Order, he developed insight and attained arahantship. So he lived in the bliss of emancipation till, a century after the Parinibbana of the Exalted One, the Vajjian brethren of Vesalī put forward the ten theses, and were resisted by the Thera Niyasa and the Kākandakan brethren, and a recension of Norm and Vinaya was made by 700 arahants. Then the Thera, moved by righteous emotion at the proposed perversion of Dhamma and Vinaya, uttered these verses, testifying thereby to aññña:
 He who decides in season meet for pause,
And he who dallies when he should decide,
This fool by want of plan and principle
Doth journey hence to suffer many ills.
 Rewards that should be his do melt away,
As in the dark weeks melts the waning moon.
Dishonour he incurs, at variance with his friends.
 He who is slow in season meet for pause,
Who crosses when 'twere wrong to hesitate,
This wise man by his plan and principle
Doth surely win his way to happiness.
The gains that shall be his wax ripe and full,
As in bright weeks doth wax the crescent moon.
Honour, renown he wins, at one with friends.
 A title bestowod on the Thera Ānanda.
 On the Council of Vesālī (Vinaya Texts, vol. iii., chap. xii.). The Thera Sambhūta 'Hemp-robed' (Sānavasin) - was one of the organizers of this difficult and delicate campaign of reform.
 lit., crosses. See below.