Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto VI. Psalms of Six Verses


 

Canto VI.
Psalms of Six Verses

CCXXI
Brahmadatta

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

Public Domain

[Pali][than]

 

Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, as a son of the King of Kosala, and named Brahmadatta, he witnessed the majesty of the Buddha at the Jeta Grove inauguration, entered the Order because he believed, and in due course acquired sixfold abhiññā, together with thorough grasp of the letter and meaning of the Norm.

One day as he went round for alms, a brahmin abused him. The Thera heard in silence and went on with his business. The brahmin again reviled him, and people commented on the Thera's silence. Whereupon Brahmadatta taught them, saying:

[441] Whence rises wrath for him who void of wrath
Holds on 'the even tenor of his way,'
Self-tamed, serene, by highest insight free?

[442] Worse of the two is he who, when reviled,
[224] Reviles again. Who doth not, when reviled,
Revile again, a twofold victory wins.[1]

[443] Both of the other and himself he seeks
The good; for he the other's angry mood
Doth understand and soothe [checking himself].

[444] Him who of both is the physician, since
Himself he healeth and the other too,
Folk deem a fool, they knowing not the Norm.

Then the reviling brahmin, hearing these words, was both distressed and glad of heart, and besought the Thera's forgiveness. Yea, he took Orders under him, and was taught the exercise of meditating on love towards others, the Thera thus arming him against obsession by anger:

[445] If anger rise in thee, then think upon
The Figure of the Saw; and if arise
Craving t'indulge thyself, remember thou
The Parable of how they ate the Child.

[446] If, lusting for new lives in heaven and earth,
Thy heart run wild, O check and curb it swift
By mindfulness, as 'twere the beast men find
In young corn grazing trespasser, and bind.[2]

 


[1] Lit., reviles back the reviler. Cf. I. Pet. ii. 23; Dhammapada, verse 133.

[2] These three parables occur in three discourses ascribed to the Buddha: Majjh., i. 129; Saŋyutta, ii. 98; iv. 196. A similar reference to similes from the Suttas is made by Sumedha (Sitters, p. 173).

 


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