Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto II.
Psalms of Two Verses


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

Public Domain



Reborn in this Buddha-age at Rājagaha, in a brahmin family,[1] and named Gotama, he fell, when still a youth, into bad company, and gave all that he had to a courtesan. Repenting thereafter of his vicious ways, he beheld a vision of the Master seated - of Him who had discerned the progress of his mind and his attainment of the conditions. He with heart assured went to the Master, was taught, and believed. Entering the Order, he won arahantship, even as the razor touched his hair. And while he was pondering the bliss of jhāna and of fruition, a lay-companion asked him concerning his property. He confessed how he had lived unchastely, and declaring aññā by his present purity from passion, said:

[137] At ease they sleep, the wise and pure, who ne'er
Are bound to womankind, for these must aye
Be kept 'neath watch and ward, and among them
'Tis ever hard to learn the truth of things.[2]

[138] War to the knife with thee, O lust, we've waged.
Now are we quit and free of debt to thee.
Now fare we onward to that Going-out,[3]
Where at our journey's end we weep no more.


[1] Not identical with the other Gotama Theras of CLXXXIII., CCXXXIX.

Quondam. Former.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[2] There is a nice, discriminating touch about the Commentary's remark: 'Now to him [the friend] who is still bound to such women, the Thera, to show his own complete extirpation of that lust, says the second verse.' The use of the first person plural is a rare feature in Buddhist hymns. It must refer to a sodality of freed minds, and not to the speaker and his quondam friend, since the latter had still his worldly ties.

[3] Nibbāna in the original. Since the Thera is an arahant, this can only refer to his Parinibbāna, the complete extinction of his life spatially figured - his anupādisesa-nibbāna, says the Commentary, however that was conceived.


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