Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto II.
Psalms of Two Verses


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

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Reborn in this Buddha-age at Vesāli, as the son of a Licchavi raja,[1] he was won over by the majesty of the Buddha when the latter went to Vesāli, and left the world. In due course he won arahantship, and thereafter, gracious to his patrons, he did not reject the necessaries they provided, but enjoyed what he received. The common-minded deemed him self-indulgent, but he continued taking no account of them.

But near him dwelt a fraudulent bhikkhu, who deceived the people by pretending to lead the simple life, content with little, and was honoured by them. Then Sakka, ruler of the devas, discerned this, and came to Vasabha Thera and asked: 'Your reverence, what is it that an impostor does?' The Thera, in rebuke to that evil-doer, replied:

[139] He erst doth work destruction to himself;
Thereafter doth he ruin other men.
Most throughly works he mischief to himself,
E'en as decoy-bird[2] by its own deceit.

[140] No brahmin he, by outward colour judged.
By inner hue shall ye the brahmin know.
He in whom deeds show evil, even he
Is swarth of face, O consort of Sujā.[3]


[1] See above, p. 54, n. 4.

[2] Cf. vītaɱsa-kakkaro, the decoy jungle-cock in Jāt., ii. 161.

[3] Sujampati, a title given to Sakka, whose consort-goddess was Sujā. On the spiritual complexion, cf. Dīgha-Nikāya, Suttantas iii., iv., and xxvii; Sutta Nipāta, Vāseṭṭha-Sutta.


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