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 in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, in a brahmin's family, and named Vijaya. When he had learnt the brahmin wisdom, he left the world as an ascetic, [86] and dwelt in the forest practising jhāna. Then he heard of the Buddha's mission and was glad, and went to salute and hear him. Thereupon he entered the Order and soon won arahantship, confessing aññā in this verse:

[92] In whom the intoxicants are dried up;
Whose happiness dependeth not on food;
Whose range is in the Void and the Unmarked
And Liberty: - as flight of birds in air
So hard is it to track the trail of him.[1]


[1] Intoxicants = āsavā (see Ps. XLVII.). Food (āhāro), represents all the four necessaries provided by the laity (food, clothing, lodging, medicine). Commentary. 'Liberty' represents the Third Sign of 'Freedom from Hankerings,' or Content. As an arahant, his mind dwells only on ideas and desires void of, and unmarked by, the three features — Ill, Impermanence, Soul-delusion. By 'trail' (padaɱ) is meant destiny - namely, rebirth. Part of this gāthā, and approximately the same Commentary, occur in Dhammapada, verse 92 (Commentary, ii. 171173), ascribed to the Master when addressing Belaṭṭhasīsa {cf. Ps. XVI.). The Commentary cited enumerates all forms of rebirth; Dhammapāla gives only 'destiny' in purgatory, and the rest. Both say only, it is as impossible to declare what is his destiny, as to say where, or how, birds will alight.


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