Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

Abhaya (2)

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


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Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī in a brahmin family, he was called Abhaya. After he had heard the Master teach and had entered the Order, he went one day for alms into the village[1] and saw a woman attractively dressed. This disturbed his mental composure, so that he returned to the Vihāra thinking: 'Looking on a visible object has corrupted me. I have done amiss.' Thus repudiating that consciousness, he so developed insight as to win arahantship.

Thereupon he reviewed his moral slip and his recovery in this verse:

[98] Sight of fair shape bewildering self-control,[2]
If one but heed the image sweet and dear,
The heart inflamed in feeling doth o'erflow
And clinging stayeth. Thus in him do grow
The deadly taints[3] that bring new living near.


[1] So in XIX. and XXIX. This is clearly not the Abhaya of XXVI.

[2] Sati - mindfulness, heedfulness, control of thought.

[3] Āsavā. Cf. verses 794 ff.; Saɱy., iv. 78.


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