Khuddaka Nikaya


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PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN

Canto X. Psalms of Ten Verses


 

Canto X.
Psalms of Ten Verses

CCXXXVI
Cūḷa-Panthaka

(Roadling Minor)

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

Public Domain

[Pali]

 

His previous story is told in the Eighth Canto, in the chronicle of Roadling major. The remainder is [told in the Commentary on the Cülasetthi-Jataka.[1]]

He, on another occasion, uttered these verses:

[557] Sluggish and halt the progress that I made,
And therefore was I held in small esteem.
My brother judged I should be turned away,
And bade me, saying: 'Now do thou go home.'

[558] So I, dismissed and miserable, stood
Within the gateway of the Brethren's Park,
Longing at heart within the Rule to stay.

[559] And there he came to me, the Exalted One,
And laid his hand upon my head; and took
My arm, and to the garden led me back.

[560] To me the Master in his kindness gave
A napkin for the feet and bade me thus:
'Fix thou thy mind on this clean thing, the while
Well concentrated[2] thou dost sit apart.'

[561] And I who heard his blessed Word abode
Fain only and alway to keep his Rule,[3]
Achieving concentrated thought and will,
That I might win the crown of all my quest.

[260] [562] And now I know the where and how I lived,
And clearly shines the Eye Celestial;[4]
The Threefold Wisdom have I made my own,
And what the Buddha bids us do is done.

[563] In thousand different shapes did Panthaka
Himself by power abnormal multiply;
And seated in the pleasant Mango-Grove,[5]
Waited until the hour should be revealed.

[564] Then did the Master send a messenger,
Who came revealer of the hour to me,
And at th' appointed time I flew to Him.

[565] Low at his feet I worshipped; then aside
I sat me down; and me so seated near
Whenas he had discerned, the Master then
Suffered that men should do him ministry.[6]

[566] High altar[7] He where all the world may give,
Receiver of th' oblations of mankind,
Meadow of merit for the sons of men,
He did accept the gifts of piety.

 


[1] Jāt., i., trans. p. 114. Dhammapāla also gives the story, agreeing in all but a few details, in which his version is the simpler. The gist of the 'remainder' is contained in the verses above. He also mentions the double eminence (in mind-created forms and in mental evolution), defined by Buddhaghosa as skill in the fourfold Rūpa and Arūpa jhāna, assigned to Cūḷa-Panthaka and his brother respectively (Ang., i. 24).

[2] Svadhiṭṭhitaŋ is paraphrased only by manasikārena. Panthaka handles the cloth while he muses, till it is no longer clean and smooth.

[3] Sisters, verses 187, 194, 202.

[4] Above, verse 516.

[5] The property of the court physioian and lay-adherent, Jīvaka. See Sisters, p. 139 n.

[6] The story relates that, whereas Panthaka's elder brother, who was steward, had omitted his junior from the brethren entertained at lunch by Jīvaka, the Buddha (who had left Cūḷa-Panthaka studying impurity by the towel as object-lesson) closed his bowl with his hand when food was offered till Cūḷa had been sent for. How Cūḷa's new powers of magic mystify the messenger is told in the Jātaka Commentary.

[7] This rendering of āyāgo, following Dr. Neumann, is supported by the Commentary's yajitabba-ṭhānabhūto, 'who is become the place where oblations should be made.'

 


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