Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto VI. Psalms of Six Verses


 

Canto VI.
Psalms of Six Verses

CCXV
Sappadāsa

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

Public Domain

[Index][Pali] [than]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age at Kapilavatthu as the son of the King[1] Suddhodana's chaplain, he was named Sappadāsa. He received faith on the occasion of the Master's visit to his own people,[2] and entered the Order. Overmastered by corrupt habits of mind and character (the kilesa's), he never got concentration and singleness of mind. This finally distressed him so much that he was about to commit suicide, when, the inward vision suddenly expanding, he attained arahantship. Confessing aññā he said:

[405] Full five and twenty years have passed since I
Had left the world and in the Order lived,
And yet not for one fingersnap of time
Had I found peace [and sanity[3]] of mind.

[406] Intent and single vision ne'er I won,
Distraught and harassed by desires of sense;
In tears, wringing my hands, I left the lodge.[4]

[407] Nay now I'll take a knife or else - For what
Is life to me? And how can such as I,
Who by my life the training have denied,
Do better than set term to it and die?

[408] So then I came and with a razor sat me down
Upon my couch. And now the blade was drawn
Across my throat to cut the artery. ...

[409] [215] When lo! in me arose the deeper thought:
Attention to the fact and to the cause.
The misery of it all was manifest;
Distaste, indifference the mind possessed,

[410] And so my heart was set at liberty!
O see the seemly order of the Norm!
The Threefold Wisdom have I made my own,
And all the Buddha bids us do is done.[5]

 


[1] Distinguished by the Commentary as mahārāja.

[2] See CXXXIX.

[3] Cetaso samādānaŋ. Comy.

[4] Comy.: anupanikkhamiŋ, bahi nikkhanto.

[5] = verses 269 f. Cf. CXV., CCV.

 


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