Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses

Vanavaccha (2)

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


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Reborn in this Buddha-age as the son of a wealthy brahmin at Rājagaha and named Vaccha, he found faith when King Bimbisāra conferred with the Master. And entering the Order he attained arahantship. As arahant he dwelt in the woods devoted to detachment; hence he came to be called Woodland Vaccha (Vanavaccha). Now it happened that the Thera, in order to do a kindness to his kinsfolk, went to Rājagaha, and dwelt there a little [102] space, telling them of his mode of life. They begged him, saying: 'Sir, do us the kindness of dwelling in the near Vihāra, and we will wait upon you.' The Thera showed them in this verse both his love of the mountains and the life of detachment:

[113] Crags where clear waters lie, a rocky world,
Haunted by black-faced apes and timid deer,
Where 'neath bright blossoms run the silver streams:
Those are the highlands of my heart's delight.[1]

This verse became the Thera's confession of aññā.


[1] The only bond between the two Vacchas seems to be their common brahmin stock and their love of nature. The poem goes to make up those ascribed to Sankicca and Kassapa the Great (CCXI., CCLXI.). Cf. also that by the Kapilavatthu Vaccha of the Woods (XIII.). It is doubtful whether the two legends do not derive from an identical source. But cf. CXII.


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