Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto VI.
Psalms of Six Verses


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

Public Domain



He was reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī as the son of a brahmin of the Kosiya family,[1] but was named Kātiyāna after the family of his mother. Seeing his friend Sāmaññakāni[2] become a Thera, he, too, entered the Order. While at his studies he determined to discipline himself at night as to sleep. While pacing on the terrace he dozed, overcome by sleepiness, and fell right there to the ground. The Master, seeing what had happened, went himself, and standing above him, called him 'Kātiyāna!' He thereat rose up, saluted, and stood much agitated. Then the Master taught him the Norm thus:

[411] Rise up, rouse thee, Kātiyāna, seat thee cross-legged.[3]
Be not filled with drowsiness. Watch and keep vigil.
Child of heedless race, let not the King of Mortals
By a simple trick o'ercome thee self-indulgent.

[412] E'en as billow sweeping o'er the mighty ocean
So may round of birth and age o'erwhelm and drown thee.
See that thou dost make thyself an isle of safety,[4] For nought else is there may serve thee as a refuge.

[413] [216] Lo! for thee the Master hath prepared this Right Way,
Past all bonds and past all fear of birth and dying.
Be thou diligent when night is young, and after;
Strive with all thy might, and strenuous make thy study.

[414] Loose all earlier ties; live as befits a brother,
Robed in yellow cloak, by razor shaved, and alms fed.
Be not fain for pastimes, nor to lengthened slumbers[5] Be addicted. Contemplate, 0 Kātiyāna!

[415] Concentrate, conquer, O Kātiyāna! Make thee
Adept in the path to sure salvation leading.
Hast thou won the ultimate purification,
Thou shalt reach the Going-out, as flame in water.

[416] Light of feeble ray is as a wind-torn creeper.
So do thou, clansman of Indra,[6] clutching nothing,
Shake off Māra. Cleans'd of passion for sensations,
Wait thine hour, e'en here in holy coolness dwelling.

Thus aided by the Master's homily to win the Nibbāna wherein is no residual base of rebirth, the Thera developed insight and attained arahantship. Thereafter he uttered the verses as taught by the Master in confessing aññā.


[1] Cf. CCIX.

[2] See XXXV.

[3] So the Commentary as the prescribed posture for meditation.

[4] Cf. Sutta-Nipāta, 501.

[5] The Cy. (Br.) supplies the other ca after niddaɱ.

[6] Kosiyagotta. Kosiya is one of the god Indra's names. The application of the simile of the light (lamp) is not, I venture to think, that Māra's death-torch was to be extinguished by Kosiya (cf. Neumann), but that his own rebirth - 'fire,' grown 'cool' and low, was in dying out to checkmate Māra's designs for his rebirth.


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