Khuddaka Nikāya

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(Of the Mallas)

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


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He came to birth in the family of a clansman of the Mallas,[2] at Anupiyā. As a child of seven, he saw the Master when the latter visited his country and home, and was so attracted that he asked his grandmother, his mother having died at his birth,[3] if he might leave the world under the Master. She brought him to the Master, who bade a bhikkhu ordain him. And the boy, being one in whom past causes and an aspiration were taking effect, realized the Four Paths in succession, in the very act of having his curls cut off.

[11] And when the Master left the Mallas' country for Rājagaha, Dabba, meditating alone, and desirous of devoting his body to the service of the Order, considered that he might both apportion night's lodging and direct to meals. The Master sanctioned his doing so, and his success herein, and his supernormal power herein, lighting the brethren to their lodgings with his shining finger, is told in the Pali narrative.[4]

But it was after the baseless calumny,[5] wherewith the bhikkhas who followed Mettiya and Bhummajaka sought to ruin him, had been condemned by the Order, that the Brother, conscious of his virtuous compassion for others, uttered this verse:

[5] Once hard to tame, by taming tamed is now
Dabba, from doubts released, content, serene.
Victor is Dabba now, and void of fears;
Perfected[6] he and staunch in steadfastness.

Thus verily did the venerable Brother Dabba utter his psalm.


[1] Cf. below, verse 1218. On this eminent Brother, see also Vinaya Texts, iii. 4-18; Jātaka, 1. 21; Udāna, viii. 9; Ang. Nik., 23.

[2] Lit., of a rāja of the Mallas, a confederation of independent clans, located by the two great Chinese pilgrim chroniclers on the mountain slopes eastward of the Buddha's own clan.

[3] Before his birth, according to the Commentarial tradition.

[4] Vatthu-pāliyaṅ - viz., in Khandaka IV. See Vinaya Texts, iii. 4 ff.

[5] Ibid., pp. 10-18.

[6] Parinibbuto. On this Dhammapāla comments: 'There are two parinibbānas - the parinibbāna of evils (kilesā, the "ten torments," or "bases of corruption"; see my Buddhist Psychological Ethics, p 327 ff.), which is the element of Nibbāna, wherewith is yet remaining stuff of life; and parinihbāna of khandhas (factors of personality), which is the element of Nibbāna without that remainder. Here the former species is meant, inasmuch as there had been an entire putting away by the Path of everything that should be put away.' Cf. Compendium of Philosophy, p. 108: my Buddhism, p. 191.


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