Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto III.
Psalms of three Verses


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

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Reborn in this Buddha-age at Pāṭaliputta,[1] in a brahmin's family, he was named Sobhita. But being a little hunchbacked, he was called Crooked Sobhita. Come of age at the time of the Master's passing away, he was ordained by Ānanda, and acquired sixfold abhiññā.

Now, at the first Great Council in the Sattapaṇṇi Cave, he was bidden fetch Ānanda Thera to the Assembly.[2] Now at that time the company of devas sent an angel to stand at the entrance to the Cave to counteract the work of Māra. And Khujja-Sobhita announced his own coming to the angel in this verse:

[234] One of the Brethren who in Patna dwell,
Learned and erudite, lo! at the door,
Advanced in years, stands Crooked Sobhita.

[164] Then the angel informed the Saṅgha of the Thera'e advent:

[235] One of the Brethren who in Patna dwell,
Learned and eloquent, lo! at the door,
Advanced in years, he stands borne by the winds.[3]

Then the Saṅgha giving him opportunity, the Thera approached them and confessed aññā:

[236] Good fight he made, and made good sacrifice,[4]
And in the battle won: - now by such war,
The fervent following of the holy life,
In happiness he resteth [evermore].


[1] Patna; cf. Sisters, p. 157 n.

[2] For Ānanda's late appearance see Vinaya Texts, iii. 373; Vinaya, iii. 259. There, Ānanda's access to the Cave through earth or air, in the commentarial legend, is ascribed to our Thera. Curiously enough, the Vinaya itself knows of no Khujja-Sobhita till the Council of Vesālī, a century later (Vinaya Texts, iii. 407). That the Council was held in this Cave is not stated in the Vinaya, which names only the Kalandaka-nivāpa (squirrels' feeding-ground) in the Veḷuvana (Bamboo Grove). 'Angel' is devatā lit., deity.

[3] His aerial return from Ānanda to the Saṅgha.

[4] Suyiṭṭhena (which comes more naturally from a lapsed brahmin than the martial epithets) the Commentary explains as 'religious gifts from virtuous friends.' The metre of the poem is disturbed by two glosses samaṇā and dvāre.


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