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 in the country of the Sunāparantas,[1] in the family of a councillor, he was named Isidinna. Grown up, he saw the double miracle at the presentation of the Sandalwood Pavilion,[2] and coming with a satisfied mind to the Master, he heard the Norm, and became a Stream-winner. While still living a domestic life, a compassionate spirit urged him, saying:

[187] I mark the pious laity who treasure on their lips the Norm;
How you may often hear them say: 'Transient are all this world's desires!'
But in their hearts lies love of pelf, of precious stones and jewelled rings,
And that which fills their thought is care of sons and daughters and of wives.

[188] Nay, verily, they do not know the inward meaning of the Norm;
E'en though you often hear them say: 'Transient are all this world's desires!'
To cut themselves from passions free, they lack the spiritual health,
And therefore cleaveth aye their heart to wife and children, and to wealth.

When the layman heard this, he was thrilled with emotion, and leaving the world, he not long after won arahantship. In confessing aññā, he repeated these verses.


[1] Cf. LXX.

[2] I cannot trace this legendary event elsewhere.


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