Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


(Elephant-rider's Son.)

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


Public Domain


Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, in the family of an elephant-driver, as he grew up, he became proficient in managing elephants. One day, as he was training an elephant by the river, he was impelled by maturing conditions to think: 'What is all this elephant-taming to me? Better is it to tame one's self.' So he went to the Exalted One, heard the Norm, believed, entered the Order, and exercised himself in insight on a basis of ethical meditation. And as a skilful elephant-trainer restrains savage ways by his hook, so he by meditation suffered not his thoughts to wander away from his exercise, saying this verse:

[77] Once roamed this heart a field, a wanderer
Wherever will, or whim, or pleasure led.
To-day that heart I'll hold in thorough check,
As trainer's hook the savage elephant.[1]

And so acting, his insight expanded, and he realized arahantship.


[1] This goes to form one verse in the interesting poem ascribed to Tālapuṭa (CCLXII, 1130). 'Trainer's hook,' more accurately 'grasper of the hook.'


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