Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto VI.
Psalms of Six Verses


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

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[Index][Pali] [than]


Reborn in this Buddha-age as the son of a brahmin named Subuddha, he was safely brought into the world by the aid of physicians. Hence he was named Tekicchakāri, 'doctor-made.'[1] He grew up, learning the arts and learning of his clan. Now his father, by his wisdom and policy having incurred the jealousy and suspicion of the King of Benares (sic), was by King Candagutta thrown into prison. Then Tekicchakāri, hearing of this, took fright and fled, taking sanctuary with the Thera dwelling at the Vihāra Hall, and telling him the cause of his trouble. The Thera ordained him and gave him an exercise, whereupon he became an open-air sedent bhikkhu,[2] heedless of heat or cold, and devoted especially to the cultivation of the Sublime Moods. Him Māra the Evil One saw, as one slipping out of his reach; and in the desire of unbalancing the Thera, he drew nigh in the guise of a field-herd, when the harvest was over, tempting him thus:

[381] All harvested is now the rice, and threshed
The barley. Not a bite or sup I'll get!
What shall I do?

Then the Thera, thinking, 'This fellow tells me of his state. But it is myself that I ought to admonish. I have no business to be discoursing,' thus exhorted himself to meditate on the Three Bases:

[382] Think on the Buddha! infinite the thought!
Thou thus in gladsome piety, thy frame
With rapture all suffused, shalt ever dwell
Upon the heights.

[383] [209] Think on the Dhamma![3] ...

[384] Think on the Order! infinite the thought![3] Thou thus in gladsome piety, thy frame
With rapture all suffused, shalt ever dwell
Upon the heights.

Then Māra again, wishing to dissuade him from solitude, pretended to be his well-wisher, saying:

[385] Dost dwell beneath bare skies? Cold are these nights
And wintry now. See that thou perish not
With cold foredone. Get thee within thy lodge,
Thy door well barred!

Then the Thera, showing that in house-dwelling was a fetter, but that there he was at ease, said:

[386] My heart transported shall reach out and touch
The Four Immeasurable Moods;[4] thereby
Ever shall I in blissful ease abide.
Not mine foredone by cold to fail, who dwell
Unmoved and calm.

Thus saying, the Thera developed insight and realized arahantship.

And because this Thera lived in the time of King Biṇḍusāra, these verses must be understood as having been rehearsed as canonical at the Third Council.[5]


[1] So in Oldenberg's MSS. and the Br. Cy. Only the S. Cy. has -kāni.

[2] Two forms of the dhutangas. See Milinda, ii., book vi.

[3] Repeat as in verse 382.

[4] See his story and that of Subhūti. The Four Moods were Love, Pity, Sympathy for Happiness, and Equanimity. Line 1 is expanded from 'I shall touch,' an expression scarcely so significant to us as to a Buddhist or a Neo-Platonist. See my Buddhism, p. 218.

[5] This interesting historical sidelight was noticed in Oldenberg's edition, p. 42 n., and in Dialogues of the Buddha, i. xvi. Biṇḍusāra, father of Asoka, was son of the usurper Chandragupta (Candagutta), who imprisoned the Thera's father.


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