Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto V.
Psalms of Five Verses

Kassapa of the River

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

Public Domain



Reborn in this Buddha-age in a clan of Magadha brahmins, as the brother of Uruveḷa-Kassapa, his religious inclination made him dislike domestic life, and he became an [196] ascetic. With 300 ascetics he carried on a hermit's life on the banks of the River Nerañjarā, and thus he became known, by his habit and the name of his gens, as Kassapa of the River. Now how the Exalted One ordained him and his company by the summons, 'Come, bhikkhu,' is recorded in the Khandaka.[1] He was confirmed in arahantship by the Exalted One's sermon on Burning. Thereafter reflecting on his achievement, he confessed aññā by way of extolling his rooting out of error:

[340] 0 truly for my good it was that He,
The Buddha came to the Nerañjarā,
Whose doctrine hearing, I renounced wrong views.

[341] The celebrant in many a sacrifice,
I fostered sacred fire, oblations made;
'These be the pure and holy rites!' methought -
0 blind and average worldling that I was!

[342] Errant in wilderness of heresies,
By their contagion dazed and led astray,
I deemed that pure religion which was false.
And blinded was I, shiftless, ignorant.

[343] Now is all error put away for me;
Broken the line of comings back to be.
Worth every gift, the Fire I celebrate:[2]
I worship 'Him who on This Wise hath Come.'

[344] Illusions all have I put far away.
Crushed is the thirst for going on to be,
And shattered is the endless round of life.
Now cometh nevermore rebirth for me!


[1] Vinaya Texts, i. 118-185.

[2] The Sammāsambuddha (Commentary).


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