Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto V. Psalms of Five Verses


 

Canto V.
Psalms of Five Verses

CCVIII
Soṇa-Kuṭikanna

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age in the country of Avanti in the family of a very wealthy councillor, he was given the name of Soṇa. Wearing ear-jewelry worth a crore, he became known as Koṭi-, or Kuṭi-kanna (Crore-ears).[1] Grown up, he became a landowner, and when the venerable Kaccāna the Great[2] stayed near his house, he ministered to his wants, learned the Norm, and finally growing disturbed, entered the Order through him. Collecting with [208] great difficulty a company of ten, he soon took leave of the Thera to go to Sāvatthī and salute the Master. Being admitted to pass the night in tbe Master's portion, and in the morning invited to recite, he was commended for the sixteen Aṭṭhakas. And when the verse -

'Seeing the evils of a worldly life,'

was finished, he developed insight and won arahantship.

And when he had obtained the Master's consent to the three matters which Kaccāna the Great had commissioned him to ask, he returned to his own dwelling-place, and told the Thera his instructor. This is recorded more fully in the Udāna and Anguttara Commentaries,[3] but there it is said that he attained arahantship while studying under his teacher.

Anon, while dwelling in the bliss of emancipation, he reviewed his achievement, and full of joy he breathed out these verses:

[365] Not only did I ordination win,
Emancipated am I, sane, immune;
Yea, him have I now seen, th' Exalted One, And where he dwelt, there with him did I lodge.

[366] Far through the night he stayed beneath the sky,
Then, versed in everything's abiding-place,
The Master in his chamber went to rest.

[367] His robe spread Gotama[4] and laid him down,
Like unto lion in a rocky cave,
For whom all fear and dread have passed away.[5]

[368] Thereafter in the presence of the Chief,
The Wake, did Soṇa, framing goodly speech,
Disciple of the Buddha, speak the Norm.

[204] [369] Well doth he know the factors of this life,
Well doth he cultivate the [Ariyan] Way,
So, having won to that most perfect Peace,
Shall he complete becoming,[6] sane, immune.

 


[1] Or is it possible he had the little point or faunlike peak (kuṭi) in the ears, like Julian Hawthorne's hero in 'Transformation'? See Vinaya Texts, ii. 32, n. 3.

[2] See CCXXIX.

[3] Udāna, v. 6; Manoratha-pūraṇī on Ang., i. 24, Ī 2; Vinaya Texts, i¡. 32 ff.

[4] See XCI., n. 8, in which for ten, read nine, times.

[5] Cf. introductory stanzas.

[6] Identical with the last line in verse 364, except that the verb is in the future, parinibbissati, making, by the way, a superfluous foot in the Pali metre.

 


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