Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto II.
Psalms of Two Verses

Visākha the Pañcālī's Son

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

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Reborn in this Buddha-age in the kingdom of Magadha, as the son of a district rāja, he was named Visākha. But because he was the son of the daughter of the king of the Pañcālas,[1] he became known afterwards as the Pañcālī's son.

At his father's death he succeeded to his title, but when the Master came to his neighbourhood he went to hear him, and believed, and left the world. Following him to Sāvatthī, he established insight, and acquired sixfold abhiññā.

Thereupon, in kindness to his own folk, he visited his native place. And as people kept coming to hear him, he was one day asked: 'How many qualities, your reverence, should a man acquire to be a preacher of the Norm?' The [153] Thera taught them the essential feature of such an one as follows:[2]

[209] Let him not be puffed up, nor other folk
Belittle, nor despise nor yet molest
The victor who hath overcome the world.[3]
Nor let him drag the praises of himself
Before the public; let him be[4] sober, meek,
And moderate in speech and virtuous.

[210] Is there a man who can the truth discern,
Tho' it be very subtle and refined?
Who skilled to measure spiritual growth,
Is yet of lowly, and of gentle mind.
Who shapes his life by rule of Them that Wake:
For him, Nibbāna is not hard to find.[5]


[1] An ancient kingdom, lying to the east of the Kurus, whose capital was where Delhi stands (Bud. India). Pronounced Panchāla.

[2] The Buddha is recorded as having assigned the first place among the dhammakathika's to Puṇṇa among the Brethren (IV.), Dhammadinnā among the Sisters (Sisters, p. 17), and Citta among laymen; nevertheless, he specially praised this Thera's teaching (Saɱy. Nik., ii. 280; Ang. Nik., ii. 51).

[3] Lit., him who hath gone beyond.

[4] Siyāti should here, writes the Commentary, be added as a kriyā-pada.

[5] This is Vacchapāla's psalm (LXXI.); also, be it noted, a Magadhese.


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