Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto VI. Psalms of Six Verses


 

Canto VI.
Psalms of Six Verses

CCXVIII
Jenta
The Chaplain's Son[1]

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

Public Domain

[Pali] [than]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī as the son of the King of Kosala's chaplain, he was named Jenta. When grown up he became intoxicated with his advantages of birth, wealth, and position, despising where he should have honoured, and stiff with pride. One day he approached the Master, who was teaching in the midst of a great company, and be thought: 'If the Samana Gotama will first address me, I will also speak; I will not voluntarily address him.' Thus the Exalted One not addressing him, and he through pride not speaking either, he showed the motive for his coming as he stood there. Him the Exalted One then addressed in a verse:

To dwell on proud, vain fancies is not well.
Cultivate, brahmin, that which profiteth.
The good which thou dost seek in coming here -
That, and that only shouldst thou dwell upon.

[219] Jenta thinking, 'He knows my thoughts!' was greatly drawn to him, and fell at his feet, paying the highest degree of homage. And he asked the Master, saying:

For whom is one to cultivate no pride?
Whom should one honour? Whom should one revere?
To whom if one show reverence is it well?

To him the Exalted One:

For mother and for father too, likewise
For eldest brother, for the teacher, for
The brahmin and for them of yellow robe:
For these is one to cultivate no pride,
These should one honour, these should one revere,
To these if one show reverence it is well.
The arahants cool, adept, sane, immune,
For whom pride perished as they crossed the goal,[2]
To them beyond all others homage pay.

Jenta by that teaching became a Stream-winner, entered the Order, and in due course won arahantship. Thereupon in celebrating his achievement he thus declared aññā:

[423] Infatuated with my birth, my wealth
And influence, with the beauty of my form
Intoxicated, thus I led my life.

[424] O'ermuch I fancied none was like to me.
A poor young fool by overweening spoilt,
Stubborn with pride, posing and insolent.

[425] Mother and father, ay, and others too
Claiming respect and honour, never one
Did I salute, discourteous, stiff with pride.

[220] [426] Then saw I Him the Guide, Leader Supreme,
The peerless Chief 'mong drivers of mankind,
In glory shining like the sun, with all
The company of brethren in his train.

[427] Casting away conceit and wanton pride,
A pious gladness filling all my heart,
Lowly I rendered homage with the head
To Him among all creatures Best and Chief.

[428] Well extirpated now and put away
Is both o'erweening and hypocrisy;
The what and that 'I am' is snapt in twain,
Yea, every form of self-conceit is slain.[3]

 


[1] To distinguish him from the Jenta of CXI.

[2] Māna is one of the last 'fetters' to be broken in the fourth or highest path leading to arahantship. As Stream-winner he enters the first path. Cf. also Bud. PṆy., p. 298, n. 3.

[3] Nine forma, says the Commentary. These are enumerated in the Vibhanga, p. 389 f. In Buddhism māna comprises all intrusions of the ego. This as entity was a myth, and was not to be set in rivalry over against the myth in one's neighbour.

 


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