Khuddaka Nikāya

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




Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


Jambugāmika's Son

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

Public Domain



He was reborn in this Buddha-age at Campā as the son of a lay-adherent named Jambugāmika,[1] and became called [33] after his father. While studying as a novice in the Order, he dwelt at Sāketa, in the Añjana Grove.[2] Then his father, thinking, 'I wonder if my son remains devoted to his life in the Order or not?' wrote the following verse to examine him, and sent it to him:

[28] And art thou then not gratified by gear?
And art thou then not charmed thyself t' adorn?
And is this fragrant odour, virtue-fraught,
Wafted by thee, and not by other folk?

When he had read[3] this he thought: 'My father is suspicious that I want worldly vanities. Even to-day I have not got beyond the level of the common man!' Filled with anxiety, he strove and wrestled, so that he soon acquired the six abhiññas. And taking the verse his father sent him as a goad, he finally realized arahantship. And both to confess aññā and honour his father, he recited the verse.


[1] In the Commentary Jambugāmiya. The name refers to an office, and means syndic of the village of Rose-apple-trees, a place included by the Buddha on his last preaching tour (Dialogues, ii. 138), and which probably was a suburb of Campā (pronounced Champā), on the Ganges, the easternmost point of the Buddha's ministrations.

[2] Cf. Sisters, pp. 84, 158; Bud. India, pp. 39, 40; Neumann, Majjh. translation, iii. 801, n.

[3] Taṅ vācetvā. The legend, for us, dates from the Chronicler's day only, when the Piṭakas had long been committed to writing. But as recording even a legend of the committal, at its very birth, of what became a faction of 'holy writ' to writing, it is of considerable interest. In the vrese I read with the Commentary Kacci na . . . kacci na. The odour of saintliness is a common Indian metaphor.


Copyright Statement