PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN
Canto XIII. Psalm of Thirteen Verses
Psalm of Thirteen Verses
Translated from the Pali by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.
He got rebirth, in the lifetime of our Exalted One, at the city of Campā, in the family of a distinguished councillor. From the time when his birth was expected, his father's great wealth increased even more, and on his birthday the whole town kept festival. Now because of his generosity in a previous birth to a Silent Buddha, his body was as fine gold and most delicately soft, wherefore he was named Soṇa (golden). On the soles of his feet and the palms of bis hand grew fine down of golden colour, and he was reared in luxury, in three mansions suited to each of the three seasons.
Now when our Master had attained omniscience and begun rolling the wheel of the Norm, and was staying at Rājagaha, King Bimbisara sent for Soṇa. He, having arrived with a great company of fellow-townsmen, heard the Master teach the Norm, and, winning faith, obtained his parents' consent to enter the Order. He received a subject of study from the Master, but was unable to concentrate, owing to his maintaining intercourse with people while he stayed in Cool Wood. And he thought: 'My body is too delicately reared to arrive happily at happiness. A  recluse's duties involve bodily fatigues.' So he disregarded the painful sores on his feet got from pacing up and down, and strove his utmost, but was unable to win. And he thought: 'I am not able to create either path or fruit. Of what use is the religious life to me? I will go back to lower things and work merit.' Then the Master discerned, and saved him by the lesson on the Parable of the Lute, showing him how to temper energy with calm. Thus corrected, he went to Vulture's Peak, and in due course won arahantship. Reflecting on his achievement, he thus declared his aññā:
 Seest thou a Brother with a rush-like mind,
[Stuck-up and empty], trifler, keen to taste
External things? Never will he attain
Fulness of growth within the moral code,
In mental training, or in insight's grasp.
 In whom the constant governance of sense
Is well and earnestly begun, the things
That should be left undone they practise not;
Ever what should be done they bring to pass.
For them who live mindful and self-possessed,
The intoxicants wane utterly away.
 In the straight Path, the Path that is declared,
See that ye walk, nor turn to right or left.
Let each himself admonish and incite;
Let each himself unto Nibbāna bring!
 When overtaxed and strained my energies,
The Master - can the world reveal his peer? -
Made me the parable about the lute,
And thus the Man who Sees taught me the Norm.
 And I who heard his blessed word abide
Fain only and alway to do his will.
Calm I evolved and practised, equipoise,
That so to highest Good I might attain.
And now the Threefold Wisdom have I won,
And all the Buddha's brdinance is done.
 For such a Brother rightly freed, whose heart
Hath peace, there is no mounting up of deeds,
Nor yet remaineth aught for him to do.
 Op. cit., p. 8, Ang. iii., 874 ff. He was to cultivate a just mean in effort, like a woll-strung lute.
 Unnaḷo is thua derived by Buddhists. Cf. s.v. Childers' Dictionary. The Commentary has the phrase there quoted: 'bearing aloft the reed of pride.' The etymology is probably exegetical only; but it expresses what the word means for a Buddhist - and that is all that matters here.
 The three trainings. Cf. my Buddhism, chap. viii.
 Cf. verse 561; Sisters, LIX. ff.
 The MSS. read here some samathaɱ, some samataɱ. The Cy. exploits both, and so does the translation.
 These lines, to the end, occur verbatim in Vinaya Texts, loc. cit. and in Anguttara iii., 378.
 Dhammapada, verse 81.
 Assa for Tassa. The Cy. paraphrases by ārammaṇadhammassa ... khaṇe bhijjanasabhāvaɱ.