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 Campā,[1] in a burgess's family, he was named Nandaka. He was the younger [135] brother of Bharata, whose story will next be told. When both were come of age, they heard that Soṇa-Koḷivisa[2] had left the world. And saying: 'Even Soṇa who is so delicate has gone forth; now what of us?' they, too, left the world. Bharata soon acquired sixfold abhiññā, but Nandaka, through the strength of the corruptions, was not able to command insight, and could only practise for it. Then Bharata, wishing to help him, made him his attendant, and went forth from the vihāra. Sitting down near the road he discoursed to him of insight.

Now a caravan passing by, an ox, unable to pull his cart through a boggy place, fell down. The leader had him released from the cart, and fed with grass and water. His fatigue allayed, the ox, reharnessed and strengthened, pulled the cart out of the bog. Then Bharata Baid: 'Did you see that business, brother Nandaka?' 'I did.' 'Consider its meaning.' And Nandaka said: 'Like the refreshed ox, I, too, must draw forth myself out of the swamp of saṅsara.' And taking this as his subject in practising, he won arahantship. Then to his brother he declared aññā in these verses:

[173] E'en though he trip and fall, the mettled brute
Of noble breed will steadfast stand once more.
Incited yet again to effort new,
Foredone no longer, draws his load along.

[174] So look on me as one who having learned
Of Him, the all-enlightened One, and gained
True insight, am become of noble breed,
And of the Very Buddha son indeed.


[1] Capital of the Angas, now Bagulpur. Pronounced Champā.

[2] See CCXLIII. The following object-lesson occurs in the case of Ramaṇīya-vihārin, as the Commentary reminds us (XLV.)


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