Khuddaka Nikāya

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




Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


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

Public Domain



He was reborn in this Buddha-age as the son of Ambapālī, his father being King Bimbisāra.[1] She named the child Vimala, but afterwards he was known as Vimala-Kondañña.[2] He was convinced by the Buddha-majesty of the Exalted One at Vesālī, left the world for the Order, and attained arahantship. He declared his aññā in this verse:

[64] By the bright Banner came I here to birth
In her called of the Tree. And by the FLAG
That smites the flag, is the great Flag o'er-thrown.[3]


[1] Cf. Sisters, Ps. lxvi., where he is said to have converted his mother.

[2] Vimala = spotless. There is no apparent clue to his acquiring the brahmin clan-name of Kondañña. Cf. CCXLVI.

[3] This verse is one of the allusion-riddles dear to ancient poets. The one word ketu (banner, flag) is symbolical (1) of Bimbisāra's kingship; (2) of the Dhamma: 'For the Norm is the banner of the seers,' quotes the Commentary (Ang. ii. 51; iii. 150); (3) of the vice of conceit (māna: 'flaunting a flag ... desire of the heart for self-advertisement') (Dhs., 1116; Bud. Psy., p. 298, n. 3; (4) of the hosts of evil. Hence the fourfold iteration of ketu may be thus paraphrased: 'By me, son of a king (1), through the aid of the Dhamma (2), smiting down evil (4), is conceit (3), with all soul-illusion involved therein, overthrown.' The Tree is the Mango (amba), beneath which, in her legend, Ambapālī was found as an infant.


Copyright Statement