Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


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

Public Domain



Reborn in this Buddha-age in a wealthy family at Sāvatthī, he found faith, and entering the Order took an exercise, and joined another bhikkhu, both dwelling in the forest. Not far from where they abode, a doe in the thicket had [99] given birth to a fawn. Tending it, her love kept her from going far from it, and lacking grass and water close by she was famished. Seeing her the Thera said: 'Ah, surely this world bound in the bonds of craving suffers sore, unable to cut them!' And taking this feeling as a goad, he developed insight and won arahantship. Thereupon, discerning that his companion was cherishing many wrong thoughts, he admonished him through the parable of the doe, and uttered this verse:

[109] Not yet doth he, though in retreat he dwell,
Con o'er the system by that Blest One (planned)
Who showed compassion for our highest good.
Still are his powers relaxed and uncontrolled,
Like woodland doe all tender grown and weak.[2]

Now hearing these words that bhikkhu grew agitated, and expanding insight, in due course won arahantship.


[1] = Guarded by the Order.

[2] This stanza is a notable example, among others, of the extraordinary difficulty attending translation in the absence of the Commentary. Lack of the simple little narrative has landed Dr. Neumann in a very different interpretation, with a strained use of the word pākatindriyo. Pākata = asaṅvuta (Commentary). Cf. Milinda, ii. 72.


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