Khuddaka Nikāya

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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 rāja's family at the city of Veṭṭhapura,[1] he was named Abhibhūta, and succeeded to the estate at his father's death. Now when the Exalted [171] One arrived at his city on tour, Abhibhūta went to hear him, and on the morrow offered him hospitality. The Exalted One expressed the thanks he felt, and thereupon taught him the Norm more in detail. Then the rāja found faith, left his estate for the Order, and realized arahantship.

While he was dwelling in the bliss of emancipation, his kindred, councillors and retainers came to him lamenting that he had left them without a chief. And he, teaching them the Norm by way of extolling the reason of his renunciation, said:

[255] Hear, O ye kinsmen, and give ear to me,
All and as many as are gathered here!
The Norm it is that ye shall learn from me: -
Painful is birth again and yet again!

[256] Bestir yourselves, rise up, renounce and come,
And yield your hearts unto the Buddha's Rule.
Shake off the armies of the King of Death
As doth the elephant a hut of straw.[2]

[257] Whoso within this righteous discipline
Shall come with diligence to understand.
Rebirth's eternal round put far away.
All pain and suffering he shall end for aye.[3]


[1] No other mention of place or rāja is yet traced, but the four middle lines are, in Saɱy. Nik., i. 156, put in the mouth of one Abhibhu, who was a bhikkhu in the age of Sikhi Buddha, according to a story told by Gotama Buddha.

[2] Cf. verse 1147.

[3] These last eight lines are elsewhere assigned to the Buddha, four by Nāgasena (Milinda, ii. 60), and four in the Book of the Great Decease (Dialogues, ii. 128). The former is also so assigned in Kathā Vatthu, ii. 3, and in Divyāvadāna, p. 300, but to the gods (ibid., p. 569) and to the bhikkhu Abhibhu in Saɱy. Nik., i. 156/.


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