Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto IV.
Psalms of Four Verses


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

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Reborn in this Buddha-age in a clan of Sākiyan rājas, he made the perishableness of life his principle, and, conjuring up insight, attained arahantship. He thereupon testified to aññā, as occurring in his own experience, thus:

[267] Bedecked with trinkets and with pretty frock,
Wreathed with flowers, raddled with sandal wood,
In the main street, before the multitude
A nautch girl danced to music's fivefold sound.[1]

[268] Into the city I had gone for alms,
And passing I beheld the dancer decked
In brave array, like snare of Māra laid.

[269] Thereat arose in me the deeper thought:[2]
Attention to the fact and to the cause.
The misery of it all was manifest;
Distaste, indifference the mind possessed.

[270] [176] And so my heart was set at liberty.
O see the seemly order of the Norm!
The Threefold Wisdom have I made my own,
And all the Buddha bids me do is done.[3]


[1] The five instruments usually grouped as turiya are three sorts of tom-toms, cymbals (?), and pipe or flute. 'Nautch girl' is nari- lit., woman - and naṭṭaki, dancer.

[2] Yoniso manasikāro. The Commentary paraphrases by analyzing the sight of that which was intended to appeal to sense and emotion 'Distaste,' etc.: Cy. has sampatiṭṭha'hāti ... hadayaɱ saṅhāsi.

[3] It is not possible to be sure that this Nāgasamāla is the Thera so named who was occasionally the Buddha's attendant on his walks. Cf. CCLX.; Majjh. Nik., i. 43; Udāna, viii. 7; Jāt., iv. 95.


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