Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


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


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He was reborn, when our Master was living, at Sāvatthī, as the son of the brahmin who was price-assessor[1] to the king of Kosala. He became an ascetic as follower of Bavarī, the learned brahmin, who dwelt in the Kapiṭṭha park on the banks of the Godhāvarī. Now Bavari[2] sent him, together with Tissa and Metteyya, to the Master. And Ajita was so satisfied with the Master's answers to his questions, that he entered the Order. Choosing a form of mental exercise he developed insight, and attained arahant-ship. Thereupon he uttered his song of victory[3] in this verse:

[20] All unafraid of death, nor fain to live,
I shall lay down this compound frame anon,[4]
With mind alert, with consciousness controlled.


[1] In the Jātaka it appears that the purchase of goods by or for a king was effected by an officially regulated price. This was fixed without appeal by the court assessor or valuer, who stood between the two fires of offending the king if he valued the goods submitted too high, and of driving away tradesmen if he refused bribes and cheapened wares. See my 'Early Economic Conditions in Northern India,' JRAS, October, 1901.

[2] This episode forms part of the Sutta-Nipāta, verses 976-1089 (SBE, x. 184 ff.).

[3] His 'lion's roar' (sīhanāda).

[4] Cf. Saɱyutta, iii. 25.


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