Khuddaka Nikāya

[Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]




Canto III.
Psalms of three Verses


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

Public Domain



Reborn in this Buddha-age in a barber's family, he was named Upāli. Come of age he left the world, following Anuruddha and the other five nobles, when the Exalted One was staying at Anupiyā Grove, as is recorded in the Pali.[1] Now when he was taking a subject for exercise from the Master, he said: 'Send me not away, Lord, to dwell in the forest.' 'Bhikkhu, you dwelling in the forest, will develop one subject[2] only; if you dwell with us, you will become proficient in both book-knowledge[3] and insight.' The Thera, consenting to the Master's word, practised for insight, and in due time won arahantship.

[169] Moreover, the Master himself taught him the whole Vinaya-Piṭaka. And later, after Upāli had won the Master's commendation of his decision in the three cases of Ajjuka, the Kurukacchaka bhikkhu and Kumāra-Kassapa, he was ranked first among those who knew the Vinaya.[4]

One feast-day, when he was reciting the Pātimokkha,[5] he thus admonished the brethren:

[249] He who for faith's sake[6] hath renounced the world,
And stands a novice in the Order new,
Friends let him choose of noble character,
Pure in their lives, of zeal unfaltering.

[250] He who for faith's sake hath renounced the world,
And stands a novice in the Order new,
Among the Order let that bhikkhu dwell,
And wisely[7] learn its code of discipline.

[251] He who for faith's sake hath renounced the world,
And stands a novice in the Order new,
Skilled in what should be done, or left undone,
Let him uncompanied hold on his way.


[1] See the charming episode, Vinaya Texts, iii. 224-230.

[2] Dhūraɱ.

[3] Gantha-, Br. gandha-dhūraɱ. With this cf. Dīgha Nikāya, iii. 94 : ganthe karontā. Dhammapāla, of course, had palm-leaf manuscripts in mind and a written Vinaya, whereas, in Upāli's case, the Master would probably teach him orally (uggahapesi), though heads or subject-words may then have been committed to writing.

[4] See Vinaya, iii. 66; 39, and above CLXI. respectively. These are but a tithe of the cases recorded as settled by this notable Dean. Cf. XLV., p. 50, n. 2.

[5] This — the 'Rules of Disburdenment' - constituted, and still constitutes, a fortnightly ritual (Vinaya Texts. i. 1-69).

[6] Commentary: i.e., either not in order to gain a living, or believing in the fruit of action and in the excellence of the Gem-Trinity (Buddha, Norm, Order). Upāli's own beginning was not so single-minded, he having joined precisely in order to protect his life. The young nobles gave him their effects to take home, and he, fearing that the Sākiyans might suspect him of murder, hung up the bundle on a tree and followed them.

[7] Budho. The Commentary interprets: buddhā ti ca pathan ti; so ev'attho. The iteration 'novice ... new' is in the text.


Copyright Statement