Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto V.
Psalms of Five Verses


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

Public Domain



Reborn in this Buddha-age in the family of a commoner of Kosala, and named Sumana, he grew up in happy circumstances. His mother's brother became an arahant, dwelling in the forest, and when Sumana came of age, this uncle ordained him, giving him exercises on ethical conduct. Finally, when the four jhānas and fivefold[1] abhiññā were acquired, the Thera showed him the way of insight, so that he soon acquired arahantship. And when he went to his uncle and was asked concerning his success, he thus made confession:

[330] That which my teacher wished that I should know
In doctrines good, and of his kindness taught
To me who longed for the Ambrosial:
That now, even the task prescribed, is done.

[331] Yea, won and realized is the Norm
E'en for my own, not learnt 'as such and such:'[2]
[194] Pure lore is mine, dispelled is every doubt.
Let me stand near to thee and testify:

[332] I know the where and when of former lives,
And clearly shines the Eye Celestial;
The Good Supreme, Ar'hantship, have I won,[3] And what the Buddha bids us do is done.

[333] Well have I learnt, who used all diligence,
The method and the training in thy rule;
For all th' Intoxicants are purged away;
Now cometh never more the life renewed.

[334] Noble thy cult and thou hast guided me.
Compassionate, 'tis thou hast favoured me.
Thine admonitions have not proved inept.
Once an apprentice, now am I adept.


[1] See p. 32, n. 1. He only lacked Āsavakkhaya.

[2] Dhammo anītīho, a favourite expression in the Sutta Nipāta. See Fausböll's translation and notes, verses 934, 1052, 1065, 1080, 1083, 1134; cf. Mjjhi., i. 520.

[3] Sadattho ti arahattaɱ (Commentary).


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