Khuddaka Nikāya

[Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]




Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

Koṭṭhita the Great

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


Public Domain


Reborn in this Buddha-age[1] at Sāvatthī, in a very wealthy clan of brahmins, he was named Koṭṭhita.[2] When he was come of age he had learned the three Vedas, and perfected himself in the accomplishments of a brahmin. He heard the Master preach the Norm, found faith, and entered the Order. Practising insight from the day of his ordination he attained arahantship, together with thorough mastery of the form and meaning of the Norm.[3] As proficient [7] herein he used to question the great Theras and Him-of-the-Ten-Powers[4] about them. Hence it came that he was held chief of those who were thus proficient. Then the Master, having shown his attainments in the Vedalla-Sutta, ranked him chief of those who were proficient in insight.[5]

He, on a later occasion, conscious of the bliss of emancipation, broke forth in this verse:

[2] Whoso, serene and calm, dead to the world,
Can utter wisdom's runes,[6] with wit unswelled.
Unruffled - he doth shake off naughty things
As they were forest leaves by wind-god[7] blown.

Thus verily did the venerable Brother Mahn-Kotthita utter his psalm.


[1] Imasmiṅ Buddhuppāde. Lit., not 'age,' but arising, advent. The period, however, includes the whole, i.e., the last life, of the great tcacher; hence only 'age' seemed to fit. The phrase alternates with kālo, samayo, 'time.'

[2] Pronounced Kott'hita. The name is also recorded as Koṭṭhika and Koṭika. The Thera is evidently the one included among the 'Great Elders' in Vinaya and Suttanta, the interlocutor in several Suttas - e.g., Majjhima Nikāya, i. 292; Saɱyutta Nik., ii. 112; Ang. Nik., i. 24, etc. See Vinaya Texts, ii. 112, 317; iii. 359.

[3] On this technical phrase, see Sisters, p. 17, n. 1.

[4] A title of the Buddha, frequent in scholastic works. It was at first applied equally to Arahants. Cf. Ang., ii. 63; Saṅy, ii. 28. The powers are enumerated in Majjh., i. 69-71.

[5] Ang., i. 23; Majjh., i. 232.

[6] Manta or mantras, an allusion to his brahmin or Vedic training. The next two phrases are a rendering of the one word anuddhato, which the Commentary connects with uddhacca, excitement.

[7] Māluto, wind, may possibly have ceased to suggest the Vedic Māruts, ur wind-gods, at this date. Cf. Sisters, p. 150.


Copyright Statement