Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


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


Public Domain


He was born in this Buddha-age in a wealthy Magadhese family. He came to know Soṇa-Kutikaṇṇa;[1] and when he heard that the latter had left the world, he grew agitated, and thought: 'If he who has so great an estate shall leave the world, why not rather I?' And entering the Order, he took for exercise the subject of ethical conduct,[2] and seeking a suitable haunt, dwelt on the uplands not far from his native village. Now one day his mother, who daily dispensed alms, gave him, on his round, rice-porridge prepared with honey and sugar. This he took and ate in the shade of that hill under a bamboo thicket. With bowl and hands washed, and refreshed by the appropriate fare offered him, he put forth insight without toil and, with mind intent on [28] the ebb and flow of all things, attained the topmost meditation of the Paths, winning arahantship, with mastery of the form and meaning of the doctrine. Desirous to go up to the hilly region that he might dwell in bliss while he lived, he made known his own experience in this verse:

[23] Lo! I who in the bamboo thicket dined
Off rice and honey, who now comprehend,
Him worshipping,[3] the ebb and flux of all
These factors of my life, will hie me back
Up on my hill, to foster there the growth
Of heart's detachment, lone and separate.[4]


[1] See Ps. CCVIII. Soṇa was of Avanti far to the E.

[2] Cariyānukūlaɱ kammaṭṭhānaɱ.

[3] Padakkhiṇaɱ sammatanto. The Commentary explains the former word as 'perfectly accepting the Master's admonition.' The Chronicle lays stress on the tonic effect of the food on his spiritual attainment, a characteristically anti-ascetic comment.

[4] Vivekam anubrūhayan ti. Cf. Childers under the latter word. In the Commentary paṭipassaddhi-vivekaɱ phalasamāpattiɱ kāya-vivekaɱ ca paribrūhanto. Cf. ver. 1246, n.


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