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 the family of a Kosalan commoner, he was named Mudita. When he was come of age, his clan for some reason became objectionable to the king. Mudita, terrified of the king, ran away,[1] and [188] entering the forest, approached the dwelling of an arahant Thera. The latter, seeing his terror, bade him fear not, and reassured him. 'How long, your reverence, will it take before I am free from danger?' 'When seven or eight months have passed.' 'I cannot wait so long; I will leave the world, your reverence; ordain me!' So he begged, to protect his life. The Thera ordained him. And he, coming to believe in the doctrine, lost his fears and exercised himself for insight. Failing to win arahantship, he vowed not to leave his retreat till he had, and thereupon succeeded. Thereafter experiencing the bliss of emancipation, he was asked as to his success by his fellow-bhikkhus. And he told them how he had succeeded, thus:

[311] I left the world that I might save my life,
And, once ordained, I won back faith and hope;
Valiant in energy I onward pressed.

[312] Now an it must be, let this body break
And waste and let its flesh consume,
My limbs let falter at the knee and fail;

[313] I[2] will not eat nor will I drink again,
Nor from this lodging let me issue forth,
Nor will I even lie upon my side,
While yet the dart of Craving lies undrawn!

[314] Thus steadfast I abiding - O behold
And mark the forward stride of energy:
The Threefold Wisdom have I made my own,
And all the Buddha bids us do is done!


[1] Cf. CCXI. Mudita signifies complacent, glad. Cf. Bud. Psy., p. 65, n. 1.

[2] = verses 223, 224 (Paccaya, CLXXI.).


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